Programming machine tools and robots with a CNC control

Achieving more with fewer skilled workers – this is the challenge facing more and more ­businesses. The goal is to accelerate cycle times and make production as flexible as possible. Mitsubishi Electric has teamed up with KUKA in now offering an integrated solution for robot control in the shape of the current M8 CNC control series.

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Programming machine tools and robots with a CNC control.

Programming machine tools and robots with a CNC control

Achieving more with fewer skilled workers – this is the challenge facing more and more ­businesses. The goal is to accelerate cycle times and make production as flexible as possible. Mitsubishi Electric has teamed up with KUKA in now offering an integrated solution for robot control in the shape of the current M8 CNC control series.

Programming machine tools and robots with a CNC control.

Programming machine tools and robots with a CNC control.

The demand for automated production with industrial robots is greater than ever. The integration effort for such solutions is often high. With the integrated robot control, the operator can now operate and control the robot with G-codes on the CNC control via an additional menu.

A simple idea that reduces complexity.

A simple idea that reduces complexity.

This not only accelerates commissioning, but also reduces the need for training and skilled employees at the same time, while boosting flexibility – particularly where small batch sizes are concerned. The automation of loading and unloading processes can be implemented with the knowledge already available in the company without external specialists having to be consulted. Whole series of different robot types are available, with loading capacity ranging from 3 to 1300 kg. In addition to the flexible movement of workpieces and tools, they are also capable of handling such work steps as deburring and workpiece measurement.

Andreas Walbert, Business Development Manager Division ­Industries R-COG Competence Center Handling & Machinery KUKA Deutschland GmbH

Andreas Walbert, Business Development Manager Division ­Industries R-COG Competence Center Handling & Machinery KUKA Deutschland GmbH

Today, it is a question of taking the strain off specialist employees in production so that they can concentrate on their value-generating activities.

Andreas Walbert, Business Devel­opment Manager Competence Center Handling & Machinery at KUKA Deutschland GmbH, explains: “Our customers in production are all battling basically with the same problem – that of the massive shortage of skilled employees. This means that they have to handle the desired increase in productivity today with a decreasing number of skilled employees.”

How does the control strategy work?

The KUKA or Mitsubishi Electric robot is now controlled via the familiar HMI of the M8 series. Additional menus permit a large number of functions and settings. Thanks to the new Direct Robot Control function developed by Mitsubishi Electric, the robot can be controlled with G-codes, which makes operation by Teaching Box or smart panels or starting the robot program by PLC superfluous.

Benjamin Buzga, Specialist CNC Sales & Engineering Europe Mitsubishi Electric

Benjamin Buzga, Specialist CNC Sales & Engineering Europe Mitsubishi Electric

With our Direct Robot Control function, we can control not only the machine as standard via the CNC, but also the robot directly. With this application, we can offer everything from simple cycles to complex traverse movements.

The optional 19″ touchscreen makes operation simpler and more straightforward – most operators immediately feel at home here.

Two coordinate systems become one – coordinate system and synchronisation

The familiar teaching method of approaching target points can still be used. As a convenient and highly accurate procedure, it is as of now possible to also directly access the coordinate system of the machine tool axes and even workpiece coordinates can be used without transfer to another system. The workpiece coordinates can thus be flexibly adopted in each individual case. This reduces programming time, boosts reliability and facilitates shorter cycle times in practice – a simple idea that reduces complexity and makes the integration of robots possible for a growing throng of users and companies. Compliance with tight deadlines and quality standards thus becomes possible.

Achieving more with fewer skilled workers

What other advantages are there of Direct Robot Control?

Via an Ethernet link, the CNC control can communicate with the robot. Thanks to the uniform control strategy, it is now easier to digitally map production processes and implement the data of the machine and robot in IT system landscapes – a simple idea that reduces complexity.

Companies in Profile

Name of company:
Mitsubishi Electric & KUKA

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